On hiatus since 2010, The Gaslight Anthem has finally released a new single, "45", off their upcoming album for Mercury Records, "Handwritten". Coming in at 3:24 seconds, their return to my speakers with new material is long over due.
You can find the song streaming on a dozen sites by now, here's a link just in case you missed it floating around today.
What is there to say about the single? It's a welcome return to what Brian Fallon and company do best after what I thought was a disastrous venture away from the norm when Fallon broke off to do his own work, "The Horrible Crowes".
The sound is an improved one that builds on the foundation that "Sink or Swim", "The 59 Sound", and "American Slang" laid with Fallon's love of Bruce Springsteen and The Clash really shining through. Most notably in the influences shine through in the chorus:
Hey hey, turn the record over.
Hey hey, and I'll see you on the flip side.
There you go, turn the key and engine over.
Let her go, let somebody else lay at her feet
This is, well I hate to use it, but the "classic" Gaslight Anthem sound, coming so close to being Springsteen but keeping that "edge" he and The E Street Band never went for. Blending the twangy Americana sounds that dominated their earlier tracks with the heavier sound they used sparingly earlier makes for a way more grown up sound than they've ever had before. Not saying their past was bordering on "pop fluff" but rather this sounds of a band that's been together, gone through it all and came out on the other side with a desire to kick butt and rock hard.
If putting together a "best of" album, this would probably start the mix. All this does is make me anxiously await the release of "Handwritten" on July 24th.